Common Sense Canadian

Vancouver rally for Elsipogtog all about unity

PostedOctober 21, 2013 by in Canada

Empowering words from wide range of speakers at this Oct. 18 Vancouver rally in support of the Elsipogtog First Nations’s fracking protest.

Sundance Chief Rueben George, Grand Chief Stewart Phillip, recent law school graduate Caleb Behn and a representative of the Canadian Association of University Teachers were among the leaders who called for unity and solidarity with the Mi’kmaq peoples whose peaceful protest camp was raided by the RCMP last week.

On Monday, a New Brunswick judge denied SWC Resources’ request to extend an injunction against the Elsipogtog protestors, which was greeted with cheers from First Nations and their many non-indigenous supporters

Watch Grand Chief Phillip’s full speech here


About the Author

Damien Gillis

Damien Gillis is a Vancouver-based documentary filmmaker with a focus on environmental and social justice issues - especially relating to water, energy, and saving Canada's wild salmon - working with many environmental organizations in BC and around the world. He is the co-founder, along with Rafe Mair, of The Common Sense Canadian, and a board member of both the BC Environmental Network and the Haig-Brown Institute.



    The time has come for all to stand up physically (and yes, “violently”) to destroy the weapons of mass destruction (ecocide, genocide) forced on them by governments that do not apply environmental nor health laws, and ignore First Peoples’ rights under treaties and law. For every thousand in the street is ten willing to stand in the way of a bulldozer, and one willing to disable it, and perhaps another willing to destroy it.

    Enbridge Northern Gateway, Line 9, “Energy East”, hydraulic fracturing near aquifers used for agriculture and drinking water, coal export, and other projects that endanger the stability of the Earth’s oceans and atmosphere, and the long term viability of natural capital on coasts and rivers, cannot be successfully opposed in the rigged approval process set up for them.

    They can be defeated only on the front lines by such actions as the blockade near Elsipogtog.

    Democracy sometimes requires persons to place their lives on the line in civil disobedience, including blockades. In extremis their self-defense requires sabotage on a mass scale, such as was required in Alberta and British Columbia to protect against sour gas wells’ uncontrolled emissions.

    All reasonable and fair people know the difference between public self-defense and so-called ‘terrorism’: The former targets the vehicles and devices used in direct attacks on ecosystems and peoples and all precautions are taken to avoid harms to humans – usually happening far from people and off work hours. A “terrorist” chooses spectacular or symbolic targets where the most people will see the outcome, and the intent is to cause fear, not to actually stop some military or industrial attack.

    If charged with “terrorism” either in the dirty oil media (Sun News) or an actual court of law, the charge should be answered with the court’s own rulings on environmental and health rights to be fully informed of risks, of First Peoples’ rights under treaty, Canadian constitution and UN DRIP, and of the fundamental rights of the public to have stable widely supported regulatory processes to approve controversial projects. There will be no “Canada” if “Canada’s Energy Board” or its Cabinet is allowed to usurp all Crown authority change so-called ‘consultation’ or ‘approval’ processes halfway and exclude entire classes of comment and citizens.

    Run a poll on whether “Canadian citizens” trust “Canada’s Energy Board” or First Peoples traditional (not Indian-Act-defined) leadership or the courts or the Canadian cabinet with the veto power over dirty energy projects. You will be surprised by the results, but I won’t.

    Cheif Walking Eagle

    It is very convenient SWN were able to remove its trucks and equipment before the injunction was lifted. Great news, for sure, but also very telling of Canada’s personality.

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